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Farah Ossouli, Michelangelo, Ahmad and I, gouache on Arche paper, 2014, 76 x 56 cm, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Farah Ossouli was one of the first artists to appropriate miniature paintings as an authentic, personal, and contemporary artistic expression to portray women’s lives. Her style evolved over three decades after the 1979 revolution and cultural isolation in Iran. Searching for a meaningful form of self-expression, she found it in the rich tradition and refined beauty of Persian paintings, architecture, and decorative arts. The impassive look of miniature figures was well suited to her universal themes of female and male protagonists.